Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
Direct Parent PLUS Loans are made to parents (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, the stepparents) of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. (Undergraduate Students and Independent Students are Ineligible and cannot apply). The US Department of Education is the lender of the Direct PLUS program.
The limit on Direct PLUS Loan borrowing is the student's cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid received, per approved application.
PLUS Loan Calculator
Federal student loans have loan origination fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.
Alternative Parent Loans
After your student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and receives their direct loan eligibility you may find that you still need some additional assistance. There are a number of alternative loan options a parent may pursue. Alternative loans should be considered once you have explored the options available through the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and/or PLUS loan programs. Some families turn to alternative loans when the federal loans don't provide funding or when they need more flexible repayment options. (For example, a parent might be willing to co-sign a note for the student but may want the student to bear primary responsibility for repaying the loan.)
Alternative loans will NOT be added to the student's package if verification has not been completed, unless the student acknowledges that they understand that adding alternative loans in advance may impact their need-based aid.
We recommend that you review the preferred lender list on our website, as well as information you gather from other lenders to determine the best choice for your needs. These loans are based on credit worthiness and offer the option for a co-signer. The maximum amount you may borrow in an alternative loan is the cost of attendance less any other aid offered to you. While you may apply for alternative loans each term, we recommend that you determine the amount needed for the entire academic year and apply for the total amount. Funds will be disbursed equally at the start of each term.
Applying for, certifying, and processing private alternative loans takes time. Please allow 4-6 weeks for this entire process.
Remember, you may qualify for loans or other assistance under the Title IV, HEA programs. Terms and conditions of Title IV, HEA program loans may be more favorable. Learn more about federal versus private loan borrowing here: